Month: August 2017

Fate Favors The Prepared: Training Bags

You don’t have to spend much time at dog training clubs to notice that every trainer sports at least 1 equipment tote.

Trainers set themselves, and their dogs, up for success by being prepared.  You can tell, they take their training very seriously!

But raising any puppy is serious business, there are long term ramifications of NOT being prepared and NOT taking your puppy’s socialization seriously.   Indeed, it is serious work!

We send every puppy home with a tote bag, the reason isn’t just to hold all your supplies, we hope you will use this bag to set yourself, and your puppy up for success!

Here’s my present boobler puppy, Funneigh, and her tote bag.   I thought you might like to see what we take along EVERY time we take our puppy out for training and socialization.

Funneigh von der burg Austerlitz

First, we need her tote bag.  No worries, we have this amazing Puppy Culture tote bag.

We have two of these totes, a gray one and a blue one, love the quality and functionality of them.

I love my Puppy Culture tote bag,  it holds tons without ever feeling bulky, it’s easy to get into, and it’s made from durable materials so it will hold up to lots of toting!  But any roomy bag will work!

What do I bring when I take my puppy out and about for a basic socialization exposure?

Buckle collar with ID. We don’t hook the leash to the collar with the ID.

An emergency slip lead.

My leash, harness and collar, all ready for Funneigh.

Bait: I NEVER leave the house without bait. This great Bento box holds three different values: Highest is salmon cubes, then meatball, then a trail mix of different treats. The top has a cold pack! Super handy.

Bento box all closed up and ready for travel. I like this because i can grab just this if I’m really in a hurry.

Clean up supplies: papertowels, puppy pads, and waste bags.

of COURSE, a clicker or two.

Water from home, plus a small water bowl.

Optionals: For classes I take a chew for “down time” , a food tube, and an extra cold pack.

Bait bag: I often use my pockets, but if you prefer not to do that, bring a bait bag.

Optionals: Long line. If I’m going to a wide open park to walk or train, I always bring a long line. These are all 15 feet nylon.

Want to really do it right? Include a notebook (a small notebook was sent home in your puppy pack!) with your training and socialization goals for that day.

All packed up and ready!

 

Without being prepared, I would have missed being able to click/treat this voluntary attention Funneigh offered. And don’t kid yourself, puppies only become attentive adolescents if we reinforce attention consistently.  

So, I hope this helps you “pack like a pro trainer”!   Fate does favor the prepared, and mannerly, well trained dogs are NOT born, they are made through consistent reinforcment of the behaviors YOU value.

Treat every outing as a training class, practice all your puppies learned skills!  Make yourself the most interesting thing in her environment!   Always be prepared!

Note:  Not pictured, and the subject for a future post, a travel first aid kit for dogs.

Junco “checking in” on a walk around the lake. If I wasn’t prepared with my clicker, bait bag, and a high value treat, I would not have been able to catch and reinforce Junco for checking in with me. Given how interesting the environment is (lake!) I would likely see less attention to me, instead of of more. If you want an attentive adult dog, be sure to build a reinforcment history for attentive behavior from day 1!

 

Tip Tuesday: Pupcicles

How can my dog be bored when I spend half my paycheck on dog toys?

I know we, and most of you, likely feel like we are breaking the bank when it comes to providing for our dogs and consumer spending data backs this up, dog owners love our dogs and we love spending money on them!

So HOW can so many dogs be bored?

I’m so bored!

First, I think that we often forget that a bored dog is really just a dog whose species specific needs are not being met, usually because we don’t understand how novelty and food acquisition are inherit needs in the domestic dog.   Argueably, the scavenger dogs of the past had plenty of novelty in their lives, we didn’t have fences to keep them safe, there were lots of predators to try to eat them that they needed to avoid, and lots of prey animals and garbage for them to sniff down and eat.

We really shouldn’t give our dogs garbage and mice to play with, not in our modern world.   But we CAN provide our dogs with novelty and a chance to “scavenge” AKA work, for their meals.

Boredom is worth avoiding, not only is it an unpleasant and mind numbing state to be in, but it can lead to a myriad of undesired behavior as our dogs seek enrichment.

I just got a great idea from a member of our Puppy Culture Discussion Group for making a homemade teether for puppies, but I think this is an outstanding idea for a dog of any age, these pupcicles can be given as part of a meal, hidden around the yard for a dog to seek out and find, or used during crate time.

Here is our first batch!   I’ll update with more pictures when they are done freezing.

Supplies:

1. Muffin Tin

2. Kibble (dry dog food, but canned would work too)

3. If using dry food, a blender.

4. Small meat scraps (here I’m using chicken leftovers)

Spray your muffin tin with no stick spray (optional)

 

I’m using plain vegetable oil spray.

Drop some meat scraps in the bottom of the muffin tin. These are chicken.

Purée dry food with water to a milkshake consistency (I added more chicken to the blender but that’s optional) fill cups.

Fill nearly to the top with your kibble mixture.

Top with novel kibble (so not your regular kibble), treats, veggies, or other healthy foods (cheerios would be great!). Freeze until fully frozen.

Once your Pupciclies are fully frozen, pop them out, store in a storage bag in the freezer, and use whenever your puppy needs some quiet time!

Babsy really enjoyed her pupcicle, it lasted about 2 minutes.